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Korean hagwons to use electronic registration system

The Korean government is planning to introduce its new electronic registration system in English language schools and cram schools, collectively known as hagwons. The system, which uses smartphone technology to register all entries into a building, was first introduced in bars and restaurants after a recent Covid- 19 outbreak in the capital’s Itaewon district.

Hagwons will be free to choose to operate the registration system, a government spokesperson told the Korea Herald.

The Ministry is reported to be planning to incentivise hagwons to adopt the system by offering exemptions to regular inspection by the education authorities.

It is unclear if schools will be exempt from the “special inspection” system introduced following the discovery that a hagwon teacher in the city of Incheon had passed on the coronavirus to students and colleagues. Hagwons that fail health inspections face “administrative action.”

Korea’s policy of mass testing and contact tracing has kept its Covid-19 death toll relatively low. While it closed state schools with the coronavirus lockdown, Korea allowed private English kindergartens and hagwons to remain open.

Image courtesy of MIA STUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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